Dr. Steven Best is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso. For 25 years he has researched, taught, lectured, and published in areas such as philosophy, literature, social and political theory, cultural studies, film and mass media, science and technology studies, politics, terrorism and peace/security studies, and ethics (with a focus on animal rights, environmentalism, and biotechnology). Best has received invitations to speak on diverse topics throughout the US and also abroad in countries such as Canada, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Englad, Germany, France, and South Africa. He is the author and editor of 10 books and has published over 100 articles and reviews on diverse topics in critical anthologies focused on the work fo Frederic Jameson, Jean Baudrilalrd, Guy Debord, Michel Foucault, Soren Kiergkegaard, Richard Rorty, Thomas Pynchon, and Philip K. Dick). Best has published essays on a wide range of topics in an appropriately interdisciplinary and diverse array of journals, such as Social Text, Diacritics, Jump Cut, The Philosophical Forum, Science as Culture, Organization and Environment, Democracy and Nature, Sociological Inquiry, Theory and Society, Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Cricial Methodologies, Rethinking Marxism, Socialist Review, New Political Science, American Political Science Review, Terra Nova, Environmental Ethics, and Artifical Intelligence and Society. As well, Best has contributed entries to encyclopedia projects such as The Dictionary of Neo-Marxism, The Dictionary of Contemporary Criticism and Critical Terms, The Encyclopedia of the American Left, The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, The Encyclopedia of Environmental Ethics and Philosophy, The Encyclopedia Britannica Online, The Blackwell Guide to Continental Philosophy, and the Blackwell Encylcopedia of Sociology Online.
Best's books and articles are read throughout the world and have been translated into languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, Swedish, German, French, Polish, Portugese, Latin American, and Brazilian. In 1997, Best's book (with Douglas Kellner) , The Postmodern Turn: Paradigm Shifts in Art, Theory, and Science (Guilford Press, 1997) won the Michael Harrington Award for Best Social Theory Book and, in 1998, The Postmodern Turn also was selected for Choice's Outstanding Academic Books List. In 2001, his subsequent book (with Douglas Kellner), The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millenium (Guildford Press, 2001) won Foreward Magazine's Best Philosophy Book of the Year Award. He is currently completing a new book, Animal Liberation and Moral Progress: The Struggle for Human Evolution (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008) and editing a new volume (with Anthony Nocella and Peter McLaren), Academic Repression: The Crisis of Free Speech in the Academy (South End Press, forthcoming, 2008).
Best serves on the editorial board of numerous journals, frequently reviews manuscripts for academic publishers, and was a co-founder of the journal, Green Theory and Practice. In addition, Best is Chief Editor of the peer-reviewed online journal he co-founded (with Anthony Nocella), Critical Animal Studies Journal, which is one of many facets of the broader professional academic organization, the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. In 2007 Best was included in the Animal and Society Institute's Guide to Experts on Animal Issues, and the national vegetarian health magazine, Veg News, voted him as one of the nation's "25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians."
A strong advocate of applied philosophy, Best has been active in community organizations for over 25 years, working in support of human rights, animal rights, environmentalism, and health education. He has led numerous groups and campaigns, served as media spokesperson, spoken to a wide variety of community groups and to schools at all levels, and hosted a popular community radio show. Best's speaking and activism is local, national, and international in scope. A noted public figure, he has been interviewed on a wide range of issues by media such as National Public Radio, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, BBC News, the Guardian Independent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Philosopher's Magazine, as well as media in Brazil, Barcelona, France, and elsewhere. He has also been interviewed for and featured in numerous television and film documentaries shot in England, France, the US, and elsewhere. Many of his writings can be viewed on this website.